Bouncing My EyesNot too long ago, Steven Luff wrote about the concept of “bouncing” one’s eyes. I think Steven and I would agree that why we do what we do is more important than what we’re doing. But sometimes behaviors are so destructive that we must first approach the what.

For instance, for many of you reading this, if you want to keep your relationship, you need to stop doing what you are doing. But I am not talking about freedom here – I am talking about control. Sometimes, control is necessary for a while to get a ball rolling toward freedom. (Tweet This!)

This is where software like X3watch can be helpful. Tools of control can help put some distance between you and a behavior that is crushing your life. But eventually there comes a time when control of behaviors and desires can start to resemble a prison itself – albeit a more socially acceptable one. 

This is my critique of sobriety-based thinking: it teaches us that control is the same thing as freedom. (Tweet This!) We can even put religious language around it and call it Jesus, or go so far as to say that spiritual power, the kind that Jesus displayed and alluded to, is found in these different tools of control. 

There is a term for this kind of thinking, an old Latin phrase: ordo salutis. It means order of salvation. This term has a variety of historical uses, but in this case, I’m referring to a structure of belief by which we believe we are “saved.” So, you’ve gotten your software and community and books (all good things unto themselves) and now you are bouncing your eyes for the right reasons (you hope) and have achieved the benchmark of sobriety, perhaps for a year or even more. 

You can rest in your order of salvation – you are saved. And we can dress all of this up in religious language like community and brokenness that allows us to believe what we are doing is spiritual, all the while existing behind a veil with a deeper spiritual existence just beyond. 

But instead of ordo salutis, I propose we use a different term: the Imago Dei. We are all created in the image of God and thus bear an untold transformative power inside of us. But in the human experience, we endure wound after wound starting very young that, in a sense, grows weeds throughout this inner Divine image. We carry this pain around with us in our bodies over the course of our lives, and we medicate that pain with whatever medication our specific wounds require. 

This is what stands between true spiritual power and us – the kind we see Jesus wield and the kind he said those who followed him would walk in. 

There are deeper questions to be asked out beyond all of the control and the sobriety, and these questions have to do with real freedom and what the rest of your life can look like. 

What are you medicating? 

What do you really want for your life? 

If you are bouncing your eyes in hopes of rewiring your brain, I wish you luck. But perhaps one of these times, just before you bounce, perhaps you can take a moment and allow for a question to slip into your consciousness: the image I’m bouncing off of – what is it medicating? And how do I heal that?



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Bouncing Your Eyes: Part 3 – What’s The Point? by Seth Taylor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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